In April, Instagram announced that it would test hiding the total number of like counts on posts in Canada. Users could however, still see how many likes their own posts received, but the counts on others’ pages would be hidden, until, last week when the Facebook-owned company announced that it would run the same “test” in six more countries: Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. For influencers who for the most part, make a living off of ‘likes’, the huge decision by the social networking site rings louder than ever.
With the removal of like counts, influencers are posited on the edge where they could lose their online fame and fortune. Influencers in Australia in fact, could struggle to find sponsorships and paid posts after Instagram removes to iconic feature in the country.
We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
✅ New Zealand pic.twitter.com/2OdzpIUBka
This flipping decision for Instagram users is however gaining no sympathy from the majority of Australians who have rather asked the influencers to get ‘real jobs’.
'I'm sure they're hiring at Woolies and Coles,' wrote one woman to Facebook on Monday, after Daily Mail Australia first revealed how many influencers may now struggle to secure new sponsorships going forward.
'I'd be devastated too if I found a job that I had to do basically nothing and then had to now work for it,' wrote another on Facebook.
The unforeseen move is in fact, already seeing an unprecedented effect on reality stars and influencers, who are losing thousands of followers a day. According to analytics website Social Blade, reality TV show Married At First Sight’sElizabeth Sobinoff is already feeling the effects of the change. A total of 683 people unfollowed her on Monday with a further 182 unfollowing her the day before.
What do you think about this decision? For quite some time now, Instagram has been at the receiving end of criticism blows with many associating the photo sharing app as promulgating anxiety, depression, bullying and FOMO, or the “fear of missing out.” As of now, the decision remains divided, ‘’Millions sometimes. That’s besides the point - I’m happy that young people aren’t going to have to base their self worth/the worth of content they love from a number on a screen’’ musician Troy Sivan wrote.